After over a decade as a top-shelf indie duo, the Dodos still keep their sound fresh. For Meric Long (vocals/guitar) and Logan Kroeber (drums/percussion), the secret to keeping their music alive lies in letting go of everything they knew about it.
“Being in a band for a long time… [laughs] it’s hard,” Long tells BTRtoday as he takes a break from prepping for The Dodos’ upcoming tour. “It’s tough to keep that relationship nurturing and healthy, and also to find ways to be inspired and still be into it—it’s a growing pain.”
It’s been three years since the duo last toured. They plan on having a completely new live setup for this year’s shows. “We use a bunch of new unnecessary technology to make things more complicated, but there’s no turning back now,” Long says. “It’s kind of opened up a bunch of possibilities though.”
The Dodos “Confidence” (2013)
The Dodos are in their own category of indie music. They keep things indie-style with catchy, melodic and DIY sounds while adding electronic effects and distortion to layer upon layer of vocals, instruments and beats. But with their album, Certainty Waves, released only two weeks ago, they stripped away almost everything they’re known for.
“There was a lot of preciousness placed on like, ‘oh, this band has this sound, etc.’ and all these things that you put on yourself that creates this identity and it was just like throwing that [to the] side like it really doesn’t matter,” Long says. “What matters is that we make something cool and that we’re into it and there’s no reason to put these limitations on the process.”
With Certainty Waves, Long changed his usual approach to making music and went into the album with zero expectations and let go of any pressures he would usually put on himself.
“When we started talking about doing a record, I kind of had this natural instinct to not care… that sounds bad, but I think that caring too much can be such an inhibitor to the creative process,” Long says. “So I felt like there was this unique place that I was personally in that was like, ‘I don’t care, so let’s just have fun.’”
While still doused in The Dodos vibe, the album definitely dives deeper into the duo’s explorative side. Instead of relying heavily on guitar for the melody like most of their albums, Certainty Waves has new instruments like flute, bass drum or even different sound effects taking the lead.
Long jokingly describes it as the band’s “midlife crisis” album.
The Dodos “SW3” (2018)
“Just finding out things aren’t what you thought they were or what you told yourself they were—I think that’s the midlife crisis,” Long says. “It can be a downer or shocking or unsettling, but I think it’s also liberating, like all these stories we tell ourselves are totally based on perception and can be nonsense.”
The Dodos will hit parts of Canada and the U.S. starting Oct. 23 in Bellingham, WA and eventually make their way to NYC on Nov. 16 for a show at The Bowery Ballroom. In the meantime, hear the entire interview with frontman Meric Long and listen to Certainty Waves in its entirety on this week’s The Music Meetup.